All of my lectures are purely practical. That means my students do cool stuff during my lectures instead of sitting at their seats and boringly nodding their heads towards the blackboard. I’ve helped students finish dozens of their own projects. They can be divided into three categories:
One of the students’ favorite activities were messing around with images in Photoshop. They loved turning Trump into a Pokémon:
… or putting my face on a hot babe:
CLICK HERE to read all the interviews with students and check their Photoshop projects.
The difference between an average tech ed teacher and me is that I teach programming visually, using a programming environment called Etoys. It is a digital environment where kids can draw paintings and then they can program their paintings using a drag-and-drop visual component style programming, similar to Visual Basic but better. It looks like a simple animation, but it’s not. There are no time frames, key frames, nor multiple images that are changing. Everything is done by coding. Here’s a short video explanation of what Etoys is:
Simple animations which aren’t really animations, are not the only thing you can do in Etoys. A kid can write a visual poem, make a video game or even make “useful” applications such as the Quiz maker.
CLICK HERE to read the interviews with students and check all of their Etoys projects.
The most successful and the most fun project for kids was a movie making project. A while back I’ve wrote a script for HBO Adria and I loved the creative process behind it. I wanted to share it with my students. I came to class one day and asked them whether they would like to make a short movie. There were more ‘happy yeses’ than there were students. They spontaneously formed two groups and both groups started writing the script.
First group’s script was dubbed Break time. It humorously criticizes the new changes to break time. The new headmaster shortened the break time and now the students barely manage to go to the store, come back, and eat their snack before the new lecture starts. But why am I explaining the movie to you? Watch it now!
Six months after we finished filming the last scene, I’ve contacted Sebastian (the main actor) and Vlado (the student who shot behind the scenes) if they’d be willing to do a video interview. They agreed!
In the first 2 minutes of the video you can see their live first time reaction to the short film, and after that comes their interview. Enjoy!
(TIP: Press the CC button on the bottom of the video if the subtitles don’t load by themselves)
The second group’s movie was dubbed Tragedy. It was supposed to be a comedy horror short film which subverts all the classical horror movie tropes, for example the main characters will not decide to split up for no reason. Unfortunately, the project wasn’t realized. But, I figured it would be a waste not to show the script to the world. It’s funny, dramatic, has a convoluted plot and an ending no one understands, basically a J. J. Abrams short film.
CLICK HERE to read the script and to see the interviews with the students from the second group.